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Welcome to Longford

Welcome to Longford, a county steeped in ancient Irish history and mythology. Longford has several important and impressive heritage sites as well as a wealth of literary and musical tradition. County Longford is a low-lying agrarian county, renowned for its angling, boating and outdoor activities. It is located in the heart of the Lakelands region of Ireland, making it a perfect place for those with a love of water sports.  

The recently restored St Mels Cathedral is a great starting point on your journey around the county; its impressive features and incredible story cannot be missed. The county is also home to one of Ireland's most important archaeological sites - the Corlea Bog Trackway. This remarkable timber structure was discovered in fantastic condition after spending the last 2000 years encased in peat.

Longford’s accessibility to many of Irelands main towns and cities make it a prime location as a holiday base. The true beauty of the county lies in its rustic aesthetic, the hospitality of its people and the breath-taking views of its quiet countryside of farmland, lakes, bogs and low hills.

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Things to See & Do

Landmarks

  • Longford Farmer's Market
  • Port of Larne
  • Port of Cork
  • Lough Gowna Longford

Things to Do

  • St Mel's Cathedral: The Cathedral Church of St Mel is located in the centre of Longford town and is probably the most iconic building in the county. The cathedral is dedicated to St. Mel, a companion of St. Patrick and is considered to be one of the finest Catholic churches in Ireland. On Christmas Day 2009 the cathedral was destroyed by a fire in the early hours of the morning. The cathedral has been painstakingly restored and re-opened in December 2014. 

  • Corlea Bog Trackway: In 1984 a trackway of large oak planks were discovered during peat cutting just south of Longford town near the village of Keenagh. Excavation revealed an Iron Age trackway, or togher, which was radiocarbon dated to 148–147 BCE. The level of preservation is incredible and a visitor centre adjoining the bog explains the history of the trackway and tells the story of those who may have built it and what it was used for.

  • Granard Motte: Granard Motte and Bailey is one of the finest surviving examples of this kind of fortification in Ireland. Built in the late 12th century by the Normans, it was erected upon an existing ringfort; a symbol of Norman dominance over the native Irish. The Motte is a great flat topped, circular earthen mound. A timber tower would have been constructed on top, however this is long gone and only the mound remains today. The summit affords a view of five lakes, parts of nine counties and faint outline of the Sliabh Bloom Mountains. 

  • The Royal Canal: The Royal Canal Way stretches through counties Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath before entering County Longford. Built in 1789 and closed in 1961, the route was restored and reopened in 2010 and allows visitors the opportunity to explore Ireland’s inland waterways. The Canal way stretches for over 100 km and is at a perfect incline for walkers, where they prefer long distance or multiple short walks. Boats can be hired to cruise the canal also and is a lovely way to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the water.

  • Ardagh Heritage Village: Ardagh is known as one of the most scenic villages in the country, with many historical and architecturally important features. The Heritage Centre is located in the old school house and houses an exhibition on the history of this picturesque village, as well as incorporating a café and craft shop. The exhibition explains the mythology of the area, the early religious importance after the coming of St. Patrick and its emergence as a model estate village. 

  • Ballinamuck Heritage Centre: Located in the beautiful village of Ballinamuck, this Heritage Centre was originally a police barracks that was attacked by the IRA during the War of Independence. Today the centre commemorates the famous Battle of Ballinamuck. It was here in 1798 that the combined French and Irish armies were defeated by British forces, putting an end to the Irish Rebellion. The exhibition explains the historical background to these events as well as the national and international significance of epic battle.